Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Dec. T., 1969, No. 5841, in re Corinne M. McCoy v. Public Acceptance Corporation, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company, S. Kelner, Joseph H. Savitz, Esquire.
William J. Brady, Jr., for appellant.
Joseph R. Siegert, with him Manfred Farber, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones.
This is an appeal from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia refusing to open a default judgment entered against the appellant, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company.
The relevant facts are as follows: In June of 1963 the appellee's husband, William McCoy, purchased an automobile which was financed through the Public Acceptance Corporation. In order to obtain financing, Mr. McCoy was required to obtain life and disability insurance in the amount of the loan, payable to Public Acceptance in the event Mr. McCoy died or became disabled before the loan was retired. The required insurance was obtained from the appellant, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company. On January 1, 1965, Mr. McCoy suffered a severe stroke which left him totally disabled until his death on March 19, 1968. On December 30,
, Mrs. Corinne McCoy -- the widow of insured and beneficiary of the policy -- instituted an action in equity by summons against the appellant, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company. Subsequently, on September 23, 1970, a complaint in equity was filed on behalf of Mrs. McCoy which named four defendants including the appellant, Stuyvesant Life Insurance Company. Count number two of the complaint alleges that the company refused to investigate and pay valid claims made against it under the policies issued to Mr. McCoy. The complaint further alleges that as a result of this refusal to pay benefits under the policies, Mrs. McCoy suffered damages.
The complaint and a notice to plead were sent to the appellant's counsel, William J. Brady, Jr., although he had not entered an appearance in the matter. The complaint was accompanied by the following letter:
"Enclosed please find certified, true and correct copy of Complaint in Equity with notice to plead, ...